Dyer Family Happenings

A.K.A. Mommy needs a place to write!

Thank you — May 31, 2017

Thank you

Thank you for making me a wife and mother.

Thank you for providing for us both financially and emotionally.

Thank you for teaching me patience and softness and love like I hadn’t had before.

Thank you for always being up for an adventure.

Thank you for loving me when I am lovable and when I am not.

Thank you for holding my hand when I need you to.

Thank you for being you and letting me be me. We are better together than we are on our own.

9 years ago we promised forever. For me, our love now is deeper and more meaningful than it ever has been. I love raising a family with you. Thank you for choosing me.

Happy Anniversary.

Now go grow me some tomatoes 😉

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And, another diagnosis — May 17, 2017

And, another diagnosis

Today is Maxs IEP for placement for fall. Yesterday I wrote on facebook how seeing the words “severe autism symptoms” was like a gut punch, because it was. I know that his symptoms can be all consuming- when he says the same word or phrase over and over for 5 minutes and there is no getting him to stop. Or when he continually slams his entire body into things. Or when we are in public and he his rubbing his face on my hand while we are walking.

All of these things are just part of our daily with him, and have been for the longest time, so I forget that they aren’t neurotypical behaviors. And there isn’t anything neurotypical about our household so why I would think there would be any resemblance to those types of behaviors I’ll never know.

And this diagnosis doesn’t change who he is, how damn cute he can be, the amount of dirt he likes to move or how many pop tarts he eats. But it adds another thing to the list of things that keep him from being “just another kid” and that was my hope for him.

My hope for both boys was to grow and learn and be active and healthy, and they are. I never in a million, trillion years thought I would be using acronyms like IEP, BCBA, KDVS, SPED. And here we are. Surrounded by them, each one medically defining our kids and trying to remember that they are more than these letters. They will be more than these letters. They are capable of more than these letters.

Sunday our Pastor at church was talking about how being a mother is consistently preparing to say goodbye, sending your kids to school, to sleepovers, into the world to build their lives. And I found myself in tears because where we are at with the boys the thought of saying goodbye puts a lump in my throat.

Joel and I have talked about our plans for the future, and our plans include our children having to live with us forever. Not that they will, or that we would in any way try to hold them back from soaring, but our reality is that we don’t know how their autism is going to progress, regress, stay stagnant. We don’t know if they are going to be able to understand certain daily living things. We don’t know how long seizures are going to be a part of Maxs life, or how the KDVS is going to change his organs for the better or the worse. So we are planning, on being the House O’ Blue eyes with 4 human inhabitants for life.

And this isn’t something we dream of as future parents. We talk about our kids getting to go to school, and play baseball, make honor roll, go to college, travel the world. And right now we plan one quarter at a time. Because of the changes in schooling or medications that may have to be made. Because we don’t know if a classroom setting is going to be too much or not enough. Because we don’t know when the next seizure is going to hit. Because we haven’t had scans on Maxs heart and kidneys yet. Because we live in a very pliable world, that may need to be shaped differently at any given minute.

So yes, these words sting. Yes we are so excited that Max gets his chance to be in a school setting in the fall. Yes, we have two wonderfully loving boys. Yes, our world is always changing and always challenging but it is always overflowing with love.

 

Never did I ever… — April 11, 2017

Never did I ever…

Never did I ever think I would be a wife and mother.

Never did I ever think I would love as hard as I have every single day for the last 6 years and 63 days.

Never did I ever think I would be a special needs parent.

Never did I ever understand what an IEP was, until 3 years ago.

Never did I ever want strangers involved in my world.

Never did I ever think that schedules and therapy and specialists would be a huge part of our lives.

Never did I ever think 90% of what I cook for my children would be tan.

Never did I ever think that I would have to hear the word “Autism” attached to my children

Never did I ever think I would have to fight for the help I need.

Never did I ever think this would be life.

Never did I ever know love, patience, laughter, togetherness, faith, persistence, emotions and want as I do now.

Never did I ever see myself as an advocate for those who struggle with words, and noises and light and smells and being homeless and having nothing

Never did I ever think but I get to live such a beautifully imperfectly perfect life and for that I am so very thankful.

Huh? — February 23, 2017

Huh?

I had an impromptu lunch with a friend yesterday. I hadn’t seen this person in a while. I know that I post a lot of my life on social media- it’s my outlet- but I also realize this person does not read anything of mine, or rather doesn’t acknowledge that they do.

We had about a 45 minute long lunch and they did not ask me one question. Nothing. Not about the kids, having to put our dog down, work, new church, nothing. And for the majority of the lunch I sat in silence while they talked about their family, themselves and stories about where they are currently, that I have been told a dozen times before.

It was kind of eye opening. I make it a point, usually (in this case I didn’t need to) ask about others. I want to know about your family, your work, your exercise routine, your crappy Valentines Day, all of it. I love hearing from people. And maybe it’s my fault for establishing this type of conversational dynamic from this person. That I always listen, so there is no reason for me to contribute.

That aside, I ask- How do you communicate? Do you ask questions? Are you involved in those around you? In those you haven’t seen in a while?

This is a big part of my connection with our clothing mission at church and handing out ponchos and socks to the homeless. The verbal connection. Giving people a chance to talk to me about their life, if they wish. To make all people feel important, and special and recognized.

If you are not having ebb and flow conversations, I encourage you too. It is amazing what you find out from others when you ask, listen and engage.

 

The realization of change — February 10, 2017

The realization of change

Leo’s 6th birthday party was last Saturday. It was wonderful for multiple reasons. Surrounded by friends and their children and realizing how full our life is.

A few days prior I was struggling with relationships I keep hanging on to. They aren’t fluid, they arent soul filling but for whatever reason I continue to hold tight to them. Because they had been part of my world for a long time.

Saturday and then Sunday at church shifted my mindset. I am currently surrounded by people that are active in our world, that care so hard, love, worry, love all of us. All 4 of us. Because it’s not just about me and who I surround myself with.

And although some things are hard to let go, they are necessary. And letting go opens our eyes to the wonderful people and things that are active in our lives.

 

 

“Normal” — January 3, 2017

“Normal”

I keep wishing for people who do not spend every day with my children to tell me that what they do is “normal”.

Let me be very very plain about this, I would love to have “normal” kids, with “normal” meltdowns and “normal” things, but I don’t. I am okay with it, and I’m asking everyone else to be okay with it too. We have things that are totally age appropriate and developmentally appropriate, but what people that live outside of these 4 walls don’t see is all of the work we put in as a family to appear “normal”.

Daily we have to talk about our schedule for at least 30 minutes before we can leave the house, sometimes longer, and I am to the point of reinstating a visual schedule for both boys, maybe that will happen today actually. If I refuse to talk about it for the 7ooth time we melt down, hard.

We get stuck talking about the same thing for days, and sometimes even weeks. When the subject is changed, we melt down. If things are asked in different ways, or told in different ways, we melt down. If one of the kids tells the other what they are saying is wrong, without using a specific phrase, we melt down. It’s a circle that sucks to get stuck on.

We have a very specific way of starting the day, if that is interrupted we melt down. If we are going to be doing something special or out of the ordinary there are days of prep involved in making it a success. If it is to a place we’ve been we talk about when we are going, we look on calendars, we count days, we tell every person we come in contact with. If it is a new place we have a million questions and if left unanswered we have issues.

We stutter, and spin, and flap and hum. We fight sleep and have night terrors. We have seizures and tummy issues and are hungry all of the time. We try new foods and gag hard every time. We do better when we have our kindles and headphones on. We can’t move to a certain task until we have finished reading an entire series of books. We HAVE to brush our teeth after every meal, we have to eat every meal and snack at just about the same time every day.

We lose our words when we are over stimulated, we sleep hard after seizures, we have to be in charge of everything. We try to play with friends and end up alone just about every time because we can’t figure out how to play tag, or why they aren’t into the overly complicated adventure game we’ve concocted.

More than anything we try every day. We try to just go with the flow and it’s hard for us. We try to find our words, we try. And sometimes we have ugly responses, and they aren’t always intentional, and mommy and daddy know when they are and when they aren’t. But we still get the looks and the eye rolls and the stares.

I see where other almost 6 year olds and almost 3 year olds are, and I know where my boys are. I know where we excel and where we lack. But normal, we are not. AND I AM OKAY WITH IT.

So please, stop telling me things that worry me are just normal and they will out grow it.

 

 

 

 

My Christmas Wish — December 20, 2016

My Christmas Wish

It’s not for anything grand or sparkly or expensive. It’s not for unreasonable expectations of others or the failure of persons or things. It’s not for wealth or things, packages or dinners.

My Christmas wish is for love, compassion and outreach to those around us. Open the door for a stranger, say good morning, text someone you haven’t talked to or seen, show up on their front porch with a hug, post something silly on their Facebook page.

Social media makes it so easy to stay connected to one another, yet I rarely see people anymore. If we can at least let one another know we are thinking of them it might just make someone’s day a little brighter.

I ordered a few things on etsy, they aren’t for Christmas but I ordered during a time where everyone thinks things need to be done right now, that they are more important than the person before them and certainly after them. These shops had to post messages about how busy they are during the holiday season, that they are working around the clock to get things to folks and that if people are rude in emails they will cancel their orders. It made me really sad that people would lash out via email that something isn’t happening in the appropriate time.

I sent both vendors a note wishing them a Merry Christmas. That was it. Nothing more. I got a response back that the email made their day. Something so small, a gesture we give to family and friends given to a stranger, and someone I will never meet in person made their day.

So lets extend this to everyone we meet, but not just during the hectic holiday season, lets do this year round. Let people know there is light and love very present in a world that sometimes seems very dark and hard to maneuver. That even when we are heartbroken because of family goings on and politics and broken cars and never enough money that there will always be someone there with a kind word, a smile and perhaps a hug (if you’re a hugger) to shine a little light on those hard times.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, sending love and light to your world. And I hope you pass it on like wildfire 🙂